Pros & Cons: MOOC VS Traditional College

Written by  //  2014/06/16  //  College Planning  //  Comments Off on Pros & Cons: MOOC VS Traditional College

MOOC course work is quickly becoming a popular way to learn college material that was once only available in traditional college settings. An acronym for "massively open online courses", MOOCs are seen as a way for those who cannot attend traditional college to learn in their own time, from any place.

MOOCs Students Experience Similar Benefits

There are pros to using MOOCs. This learning method has become popular for students from small towns and from isolated rural areas. There is usually no tuition charged for MOOCs courses. In today’s MOOCs setting, students have access to discussion groups, quizzes and activities that help them navigate material more effectively. This wasn’t always true of free courses.

Free Courses Were Lacking

In the past, when students took free courses they could become lost due to lack of important information that might have helped them grasp concepts easier. Students often had no way to communicate with others, leading to isolation. Many felt like they were learning alone. MOOC courses have changed and improved to help students master material better. Click here to see the steps that are being taken to modify the University system in order to fix this problem.

Why Schools Hesitate To Implement MOOCs

Some school are fearful of MOOCs courses, feeling like they’ll cut into the number of students who attend traditional classes and pay traditional tuition fees. Paid online learning is not seen as a threat. With online learning, students are often paying similar tuition as traditional students.

MOOCs is sometimes perceived as threatening. This is especially true if courses evolve one day to the point where valid credits are earned and counted towards college degrees. The jury is still out on the future of MOOC within America’s educational system. Universities and educational corporations, such as this consulting company are still figuring out how to best incorporate and adapt the MOOC strategy.

Times When Traditional Colleges Find MOOCs Acceptable

Some schools feel MOOCs courses are suitable if they are limited to only a few courses. They also feel if courses improve people’s skills in careers, or if they are taken by adult learners simply for informational purposes, they’re also acceptable.

There are schools today that are issuing completion certificates to people who successfully finish MOOCs courses. It is believed that one day these certificates may help prospective job applicants to get jobs. Students will be able to show that they’ve mastered the course work.

MOOC Problems & Possible Solutions

One problem that MOOC courses suffer from is a low completion rate for students who take up the course. There can be all sorts of reasons for this low completition rate relative to traditional college courses. Some MOOC courses are adapting to try and find a method that yields higher completion rates for students. Some have begun to ask enrollment fees and then give a percentage of the fee back to those who complete the course – thus incentivizing completion of the course. The main problem facing MOOCs right now is its current money model.

MOOCs Probably Will Not Replace Traditional Education

Many people feel that MOOCs courses have their place, but that schools are not ready to have them replace traditional on-campus education. Students receive many benefits from traditional education, like networking and development of social skills. It’s also believed that because courses are expensive to put together, students may one day be charged for MOOCs.

The future of MOOCs is unpredictable. They do indeed provide valuable educational opportunities to those who are unable to get a traditional post-high school education. However, their low completion rates and lack of revenue means that its typical structure will probably change. Only time will tell.

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